No doubt about it: Hilton Head real estate is a hot commodity. Home hunters come from all over to find their ideal Lowcountry properties—and once they do, the competition is stiff. Unfortunately, squaring off against other buyers for a house or condo can be pretty stressful. The good news? If you fall in love with an in-demand property, the outcome isn’t entirely up to fate. By making the strongest offer possible, you can maximize your chances of securing the home of your dreams.
Without further ado, here are our top five tips for coming out on top in a multiple-offer scenario…
1) Get pre-approved
Three words: obtain mortgage pre-approval. Whenever possible, we tell buyer clients to get pre-approved before they enter the market. During this process, a lender will look closely at your financial situation to figure out just how much financing you’re likely to get. While many home buyers skip this step, it can make a huge difference in the eyes of sellers.
A pre-approval letter shows you’re serious about making a purchase. It says you’ll almost certainly have the funds to make it to closing. In a competitive situation, that kind of dependability can set you apart from other buyers.
2) Make your best offer first
At the offer stage, we often advise leaving room to negotiate. This strategy can lead to a better price and more favorable purchase conditions. But there are also times when you should offer as much money as you can right out of the gate—like when there are other motivated buyers in the mix.
The truth is, sellers don’t always want to go through a long, drawn-out negotiation process. When they already have some great offers on the table, they’ll often just go with the highest bidder. Of course, that’s not always the case. A seller’s reasons for choosing one offer over another can be complex, so it pays to work with an agent who has experience with these types of situations.
3) Forgo unnecessary contingencies
Many home hunters don’t know what contingencies are, but the idea behind them is pretty simple. In the most basic terms, they enable you to back out of a deal if certain conditions aren’t met. For example, if there’s a financing contingency in your contract and your mortgage falls through, you won’t have to go through with your purchase. These stipulations can protect you—but they can also make the path to closing more complicated for sellers.
Reducing the contingencies in your offer (or removing them altogether) can help you simplify the process, which could give you an edge over other buyers. Just be sure to talk to your agent to assess the level risk involved for your circumstances.
4) Consider making a cash offer
If it’s a possibility for you, consider offering to buy your dream home in cash. It may sound a bit odd, but there’s a reason why sellers like these types of offers so much. They tend to be both quick and relatively simple—which is why buyers who make them often have a huge advantage.
Since there’s no lender involved in a cash offer, there’s no mortgage processing time. There are also no unpleasant surprises to hold things up at the last minute (something that happens all too often with home loans).
5) Work with the seller’s timeline
Cold, hard cash is the deciding factor for most sellers. But for many, convenience matters—a lot. That’s why we always aim to get a sense of a seller’s timeline. If they’re relocating for work or family, it’s usually short. On the other end of the spectrum, some sellers prefer to move at a more relaxed pace. Either way, if you’re willing to work with their schedule, they may be more likely to accept your offer. Be as flexible as you can!
We’ve helped buyers navigate enough multiple-offer scenarios to know they can be stressful. Having said that, the possibility of a bidding war doesn’t have to impact your life in a negative way. We suggest doing everything you can to strengthen your offer—and up your chances of getting your dream home.
Have questions about buying a home on Hilton Head? Get in touch—we’ll walk you through the buying process and give you an idea of what’s available on the market!